Tornadoes and Floods and Hawks, Oh My!

June 16, 2015 at 6:01 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , )

Yesterday was a weird day in Chicago.

The weather was particularly screwy, what with it spewing rain one minute and heat, sunshine and humidity the next. I went to lunch around 1pm and it was drizzling and gross, yet when I walked back outside an hour later to return to work the sun was steaming the sidewalks and it seemed like a glorious day. Not three hours later, the loud and The-Apocalypse-Is-Nigh sirens  began blaring throughout the Loop to signify tornados and flash flooding in the area. This was roughly 5pm, when myself and most of the city were trying to commute our way home. I managed to make it to the el relatively dry but when I stepped off at my stop about half an hour later, it was like some movie set intern was dumping buckets of water just about everywhere. All I could do was laugh, to be honest. My umbrella wept in protest and in the end didn’t provide much relief as I was so wet when I reached the gym that I was literally wringing water from my clothes. My backpack was soaked too, which meant my gym clothes and book were wet. And my gym shoes? Well, I wore them on my walk from the train so they were completely screwed.

I sat with a blow dryer in the gym for about 15 minutes to make my workout as dry as possible but I was still uncomfortably damp the entire time. I thought about just going home but I figured if I was already wet and miserable I might as well be wet and miserable at the gym and get some calories burned out of it. On the plus side, the gym was empty! It could’ve been due to the weather or it could’ve been due to the force otherwise known as the Blackhawks.

The entire day had me feeling like the girl in the white shirt.

Yup, they won their third Stanley Cup Championship in six years last night. I’m not going to lie and pretend I’m a huge hockey buff or even a bandwagon fan, though I do think it’s cool they won and I obviously support any team from the town I live in. But to be completely honest, Scott and I were catching up on the season finale of Game of Thrones while the Hawks were playing and we kind of forgot about the game. Until the fireworks started, that is. We heard some noise and then some more noise and as Scott wondered aloud whether we needed to be worried about potential gunshots, I realized what was going on. The whole city was celebrating, high water and bad weather be damned! People were packing the streets all over town and while it looked like fun, we didn’t go out and participate in any of the revelry. I mean, I was completely dry and on my couch, what do you want of me?

And don’t even get me started on the finale of Game of Thrones. As if I hadn’t dealt with enough water for the day, it started pouring down my face as the credits rolled. So I guess I wasn’t completely dry after all but I was in my pajamas. And once those go on and the bra comes off, the only way I’m leaving my house is if a tornado sucks me out

PS – While I was at the gym, I was browsing a magazine while on the elliptical and the individual TV on my machine was on. I didn’t have headphones in and wasn’t paying it much attention but it was captioned and at one point, I happened to glance up and see a HUGE MAJOR BIG GIANT spoiler for the finale of GoT. I almost fell off of the machine right then and instead automatically started hitting the screen, as if that would help. What the hell, brain and/or airwaves?! Couldn’t have waited two more seconds? Story of my life.

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Holy Crap It’s August

August 5, 2014 at 8:34 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , )

Where did the summer go?  I mean, besides being sucked up by weddings and work and rain, that is.  Seriously, the weather this year has been the most un-summer like summer I’ve ever experienced – my air conditioning hasn’t been on in weeks!  Not that I’m complaining (and my wallet SURELY isn’t complaining) but I guess after the winter we had I was longing for some heat and sunshine.  Instead we’ve had mild temperatures and lots of rain.

Camping not glamping

Perhaps I’m extra bitter because I had plans to go to the beach yesterday – which was rained out – and then plans to go to see live music in Millennium Park tonight – and they’ve been rained out too.  I suppose it doesn’t help matters that my sister and her boyfriend flew to the Dominican Republic on this week for a vacation chock FULL of sunshine and sand…and I’m staring at gray skies and wearing a light sweater.  Oh, bother.

I won’t let it get me down though!  I’m going to try to see the live music in the park on Friday instead and this weekend looks nice enough that I might actually get to go camping.  Yay, camping!  I’ve had a serious urge to spend some time near a bonfire in the woods since like the middle of winter and I’m going to make it happen, just wait and see

.  I’ve got a new hammock, a tent and a big bottle of wine so I should be all set!

If only the weather cooperates, that is.  And if it doesn’t I’m going to pitch my tent in my living room, roast marshmallows over my oven and hang my hammock up between a couple of lamps.  Take that, Mother Nature!

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July 1, 2014 at 7:36 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , )

Chicago got hit by a massive storm last night and I got to walk home in it.  Granted, my walk was only about five blocks but it was NOT FUN.

Not yesterday but close enough.

I was at the gym when the storm hit and I basically watched the sky grow darker and darker before it became pitch black, all in about a five minute period.  When I left it was like the skies had opened up long enough to dump buckets of water straight over me.  The streets were flooded pretty much immediately and while I did have an umbrella, I was more concerned that it was going to kill me than keep me dry.  There was more lightning than I’ve ever seen in my life and I could picture my umbrella acting as a rod to fry my poor little self while I huddled over my gym bag trying to run home.  Seriously, the lightning was so close I could smell it and I couldn’t help but freak out a bit.  I may or may not have screamed a little, too, but in the end there wasn’t really any damage.  Car alarms were going off all over the place though and I felt like I was in a bad Tom Cruise action flick.  I passed a UPS delivery guy and seriously considered bribing him to drive me to my door but he looked as miserable as I felt so I just kept running.

I eventually made it home and none of my possessions were ruined due to water damage but I was completely drenched.  Thanks, umbrella.  After a hot shower and good meal I was able to actually enjoy the storm a little bit, as the lightning was pretty impressive and lasted for hours.  Thankfully it had cleared up by the time I had to walk to the el this morning but my sneakers were still soaked so they stayed at home.  And if the weather had been one iota as bad this morning as it was last night, my ass would have stayed at home too!

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Rain Day

August 2, 2013 at 2:54 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , )

When I left my apartment this morning, it looked like it had recently rained but the sun was starting to come out and it looked rather nice.  Like any dutiful Chicagoan, I packed an umbrella just in case then headed on out, happily wearing my sandals and jeans.  Not 3 minutes into my walk, the skies darkened and the heavens opened up to pour an Olympic sized swimming pools’ worth of water onto my head.  My umbrella was totally useless as the water accosted me from all sides.  It was a nightmare and not the way I wanted to start my Friday.

Trust me, my morning was NOT like this.

As anyone who has ever worn wet jeans can tell you, those suckers do not dry very quickly.  I tried to use the blow dryer in the bathroom when I got into our building but there was a line of other women attempting to do the same damn thing and no one was having great results.  So I trudged around my super-cold office and shivered all day long.  My back was wet, as were my sides and just about everything else that had been exposed to the air on my walk to work.  I had to borrow a sweater from a coworker to stop the shivers and after my fourth cup of tea, oatmeal and coffee I finally began to warm up.  Just in time to put on my still-wet sandals and head back out this afternoon.

My dad is flying in to visit for the weekend so I can only hope the rain doesn’t delay his flight.  And I can only hope we don’t get caught in another downpour on our way home.  I’ll be packing umbrellas once again but I’m now wary of their ability to really help in the rain.  Perhaps I should invent an umbrella that will keep one dry in all sorts of rain (cue Forrest Gump listing all the types of rain there are out there).  Then I could sit at home in my pj’s and collect my money without ever having to commute in it, ever again!

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Wacky World of Weather

January 29, 2013 at 2:03 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , )

Having lived all my life in the mid-west, I’m used to some random weather.  I’ve seen snow a day after sunshine and temperatures in the 70’s, hid in basements during tornadoes and even heard the elusive thundersnow during the Chicago Snowpacolypse.  Still, strange weather manages to grab my attention and seems a little noteworthy.  For instance, in the past 48 hours I’ve walked in: rain, hail, freezing rain, snow, fog and lots and lots of wind.  Sunday night there was thunder and lightning during a torrential downpour.  This was called a “wintry mix”, which is about the most vague description of weather that once can come up with, making it perfect for Chicago.  Today is supposed to be in the 60’s…for it being the end of January, that really is strange.  Too bad there’s more thunder, lightning and possibly tornadoes instead of sunshine (sure going to make my evening commute fun).  The high of 15 on Friday is more like what I’m used to for this time of year but it’s not exactly something I’m looking forward to.

And then this happens when a building catches on fire and it’s well below freezing outside.

My dad told me that it was in the 80’s down in Louisiana last week and that he had to turn on the air conditioning in his truck.  I told him to bite me.

So when will it end?  It won’t.  And I really do try to accept that fact and just deal with the weather as it comes but sometimes it’s just so difficult.  Much like trying to plan outfits that correspond to climate.

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Music, Crowds and Rain

August 8, 2011 at 11:11 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , )

…are three things I did not deal with this weekend.  While I’m a fan of music the other two things I can do without and as Lollapalooza took place Friday, Saturday and Sunday, I was actually thankful that I wasn’t dealing with the hoards of people in the steamy sunshine left behind after a massive downpour.  Does this mean I’m getting old?  Maybe, maybe not.

Good luck finding me.

I’ve attended my fair share of festivals and even spent a few summers roughin’ it at Bonnaroo in Tennessee.  I’ve been to Lolla a couple times as well and I actually had a blast at each of these concerts.  I even thought about going to Lolla this year but when the line-up came out, I wasn’t overly impressed.  I like the Foo Fighters but was lucky enough to see them for a BBC live taping in London in 2005 (I got a drumstick and guitar pick from the band and actually got to walk out talking to the guys as they headed to Sweden or Switzerland or someplace that started with the letter ‘S’).  I was interested in seeing some of the other acts but not interested enough to shell out close to $90/day to do so.  Besides, I had stuff going on at the Field Museum on Saturday and I ultimately decided doing my researching and docent thing was a better way to spend my Saturday.  Oh crap.  Maybe I am getting old.

Even though I didn’t hit the fests, I’m able to appreciate how massive and popular they are.  In fact, I spent part of Friday looking out our office windows and watching the thousands upon thousands of people amassing in Grant Park.  I also walked by a huge fence on Saturday morning as I made my way into the museum – the fence was being guarded by extremely bored looking Lolla volunteers to ensure no one was going to jump it and sneak in.  Which was a shame because the thought absolutely crossed my mind.  Trains were packed and traffic in and around downtown was somewhat of a nightmare, making me once again happy I don’t have a car.  There where people everywhere but they all seemed to be having a pretty great time so I guess even the thunderstorms and overcast skies didn’t put a damper on their days.

And maybe I’ll go next year.  I can start saving now and if the set list doesn’t spark an interest once again then I can do something else with the money I’d have spent on a 3 days pass.  Like purchase a small island.

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Performing Performance Art

May 3, 2011 at 11:16 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , )

Now that my life is slowly going back to normal post-move (I hung up the very last photo from the very last box last night – officially finished!), I wanted to share an experience I had a few weeks ago in my museum studies class.  We went to the Modern Contemporary Art museum downtown to observe/participate in a performance art event.  The purpose was to show our class different ways that museums can attract visitors, and so we could see how effective some of those methods are.  Well, this event that we attended was memorable but mostly because it was just plain…odd.

Talk about thick-headed

Everyone met in the MCA cafe and after having a seat, we were introduced to the two artists putting on the show.  They were from England and their goal was to demonstrate how soccer was played when the sport was first invented – apparently, it originated as a war game using the severed heads of the warriors enemies.  So the artists created these molds of their heads and the plan was to use them to play an impromptu soccer match on the sidewalk in front of the building.  However, there were a few problems.  It was a cold and rainy afternoon so no one really showed up to begin with and one entire team was comprised solely of myself and some classmates.  The other team apparently traveled with the artists, as they were hard-core soccer dudes who showed up wearing padding and cleats.  I was in my work clothes.  The pavement was also extremely slick and we all had to sign waivers before they’d let us play.  Which was fine and good, until the game started and I went to kick the ball/head/piece of art (and yes, this is me on the left in the below photo).  While the ball/head/piece of art looks gelatinous or at least soft and malleable, it was in fact the same texture as a boulder.  I was the first person to get to it and when I kicked it I damn near broke my foot.  The artists failed to mention the weight of the thing beforehand so after enough people complained about it, they decided to turn the game into more of a touch football thing instead.  So we were to grab the ball and run, which theoretically sounds good, right?  That is, until you have huge burly middle-aged men body checking the girls in my class

I will not be going pro anytime soon

(including yours truly) as they took their competitive streaks to a whole new level.  We actually had to stop playing at one point because some guy slammed into this poor diminutive woman and she went down – hard.  Her head smacked the pavement and after we determined she was okay, I decided to watch rather than play.

Which was good, because that was around the time the cops showed up.

Apparently no one mentioned to the Chicago PD that a bunch of random people would be playing this “game” so close to traffic and Michigan Avenue during rush hour.  So it quickly ended, leaving us players a little more than confused as to what had taken place.  It proved a point though – not every event put on by museums will produce positive guest experiences.  We could all agree on that.

I’m not sure if you’re familiar with much modern contemporary art but I’ve decided I’m not much of a fan.  Perhaps I’m not sophisticated enough to find the deeper meaning in a painted coat rack on display, but I’m okay with that.  At one point as we walked around pre-painful soccer game, a friend and I came across a table of paint cans, tools and slabs of wood.  To this day we don’t know if that was an exhibit or the area was simply under construction – that’s how I feel about a lot of contemporary art.   Though I suppose the activity we took part of was considered art, in the end it felt more like a joke.  After all, even the cops were laughing!

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Loooong Weekend

April 26, 2011 at 11:20 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , , , )

I returned late last night from my long Easter weekend home.  The trip started off per usual, with the Megabus leaving late and me hunkering down in my seat with my laptop.  Six episodes of How I Met Your Mother later, we arrived in downtown Indianapolis. As the bus pulled in, so did the thunderstorms.  We got about halfway home before the lightning got really crazy so we decided to call my aunt and uncle to get a weather update, as they happened to live close to where we were.  They said that if we drove straight through and didn’t make any stops, we would likely beat the worst of the storm.

Literally 30 seconds after I hung up the phone, we got a flat tire.

At this point, we were inching towards a tornado warning.  Mom managed to drive her car under the closest overpass so we were out of the rain and luckily the flat was on the passenger side, so we were out of the traffic.  Now, this pains my independent Girl Power self to admit , but I’ve never changed a tire all by myself.  This was something a certain father of mine was supposed to teach me but he moved down south and that never happened.  So…we called my uncle back.  After incredulously asking how we managed to get a flat one minute after hanging up the phone, he agreed to come to our rescue.  So I yanked all of the stuff in the trunk (and it was full) out and put in the backseat, then grabbed a flashlight and took a leak behind some concrete pillars (sidenote: I was convinced I was going to stumble across a dead body but I managed to avoid that).  Then Mom and I sat in the car, strapped in by our belts as semi’s sped by doing 90mph.  The lightning wasn’t exactly comforting and the storm was getting closer so we were lucky my uncle showed up when he did.  I helped him with the tire and it made me feel slightly better when he strained against the lug nuts, because if he had a hard time then I probably couldn’t have gotten them off on my own, Girl Power or not.  We got the donut on right as the rain began to come down in sheets and since we didn’t feel safe trying to drive on home, we followed him back to his house.  After being rerouted 2 times due to flooded out roads, we managed to get to my aunt and uncle’s.  At this point it was like 12:30am and we decided to try to wait out the storm.  Around 3:30 we finally gave up, since the tornado warning was showing no signs of abating.  So a few beers, handful of Oreo’s and snippets of Michael Jackson’s This is It later, I finally crashed on their couch, only to wake up 4 hours later to drive on home and take Mom’s car to the shop.

No Peeing?

So, that was fun.  Everything happened in the best possible way though and we eventually got home safely, which is all that really matters.  And I bought my uncle a rather large beer later in the weekend, which was the absolute least I could do.

Here’s a few other things I did over the course of my 4 days at home:

  • Breakfasted with two old high school friends
  • Had awkward catch-up conversations with a former Dairy Queen co-worker and my 4th grade teacher, at the same restaurant
  • Got a haircut (first in almost 7 months – I’m surprised she didn’t just take a match to my locks)
  • Spent the remainder of a gift card at Kohl’s
  • Dyed 4 dozen eggs and stuffed 2 dozen plastic eggs with candy for my grandmother
  • Took both grandparents out to lunch (in a monsoon)
  • Went to Easter Mass, officially the longest mass known to woman
  • Laughed at my mom after she locked her keys in her car (this was not her weekend when it came to automobiles)
  • Went to dinner with 6 various family members
  • Drank wine and gabbed with my sister and mom until 1am

Oh wait, that was just on Saturday while I was running on low levels of sleep/patience.

The rest of the weekend was full of eating, talking and generally enjoying the company of the roughly 30 relatives that crammed into my grandparents house on Sunday.  I hid some Easter eggs outside in the mud and then helped small children find them in the rain.  The weather I could’ve done without but other than that the weekend that started off on such a rough foot wound up being pretty great.

Though if I never pee under an overpass again, it will be too soon.

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Not in Kansas Anymore

June 21, 2010 at 2:06 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , )

I know most of us are aware of the brutal storms that flew through the Midwest region on Friday.  They pretty much appeared out of nowhere and they were not pretty.  The first one came along right about the time I was set to get off of work, which I appreciated.  In a matter of about 15 minutes, the sky went from sunny and decent looking to black with a good chance of menace.  Everyone in my office huddled around windows (smart, I know) and talked about how we felt we were in the opening scene of The Wizard of Oz. I had honestly never seen the sky turn that dark that quickly and so of course I was looking forward to my commute home.

The downpour started right as I walked out the door and my umbrella proved useless within about 5 seconds.  The parking lot I cross to the train station immediately turned into a wading pool and by the time I got to the station I was soaked from head to toe.  The other train passengers looked at me with pity as I discovered the pants I was wearing held about as much water as a Sham-Wow, only they were impossible to wring out.  The A.C. on the train was blaring full blast, so that was a pleasant ride home.

I was supposed to be meeting an old high school friend downtown but once the storm started we decided it would be smarter to just meet up at my place.  By this time the rain had stopped and the sun was actually back out.  Go figure.  After swinging by a bar for some brews and enjoying some delicious Burrito House tacos, it was time for him to head back to his place in the suburbs.  Because I’m such a good friend, I walked him the half mile back to the el station.  When I got home I sat down with another adult beverage and was looking forward to spending the rest of the evening on my couch.  I was speaking briefly with my Mom when I realized another storm was coming and  I was in the process of closing windows when my high school chum beeped through, in a panic because he couldn’t find his keys.  I looked around and sure enough, he had left them behind a pillow on my couch.  Since he’s a city neophyte and wasn’t sure he could get himself back to my place, I sucked it up and said I’d come to him.  Lucky me, I got to walk back to the station in the eye of Scary Storm Part Deux.

I put on my rain boots and jacket and went back into the night.  I skipped the umbrella altogether for a couple of reasons: 1) I didn’t think it would do me a damn bit of good and 2) I always wonder if it’s a good idea to carry around a metal stick during a lightning storm.  I’m sure it’s fine and all but with the insane horizontal flashes we were getting, I didn’t want to become a statistic or contender for the Darwin Awards, so I left it at home.

I was right, it wouldn’t have done me any good.  Winds were blowing up to 60 mph and the rain just did not stop.  I was soaked (again) as soon as I walked outside and I was also just about the only poor fool out on the sidewalk.  After a block or so I just started laughing and decided to roll with it.  There was nothing I could do anyway so I began jumping in the biggest puddles I could find (the recent beers I had ingested probably helped with this).  I looked like a grown up version of the kid in this picture and I’m not going to lie, it was pretty fun.  Until I got scared by the lightning, which was flashing its worst around the time I arrived at the station.  I stayed there for a while and the rain (slightly) let up for my walk home.  I didn’t even mind when a passing car sprayed me with gallons of dirty street water, because at that point it wasn’t going to make a bit of difference.  Once I finally got home, it took a while to peel myself from my wet garments but the warmth of my shower and the comfort of my couch made it all better.

In a surprising turn of events, I was sore as all get out on Saturday.  I woke up and could barely stretch without causing myself great pain.  It took a few minutes of trying to remember if I had been attacked by ninjas on my walk home but I eventually figured that my body must have been hurting from battling the storm the night before.  Am I that out of shape/that much of a wimp?  Apparently so.

I also must give a shout out to my concerned mother, who left me a frantic voicemail on Saturday after she saw news reports of the storm.  I was taking a nap (heaven forbid) and missed her call so when I awoke I was greeted to her panicky voice asking if I was dead in some street gutter.  Since she hadn’t heard from me since right before I trekked out into that miserable night I don’t blame her, but I had to smile at how freaked out she was when I didn’t answer right away.  Sorry for worrying you, Mommy Dearest, but I got that napping gene from you.

I don’t know where the puddle jumping gene came from but I sure am glad it’s there.

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Wet ‘n Wild

June 14, 2010 at 1:20 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

The weekend was full of rain, but that didn’t stop me from going out and enjoying myself anyway.

Friday night was spent eating, drinking and generally being merry.  I went to Costello’s, which is a sandwich place I’d yet to try out.  They had this macaroni and cheese with crushed red pepper that was ah-mazing, and they had lots of veggie-friendly options available too (no more turkey burgers for this girl!).  After an incredibly filling dinner, I went out for drinks and was waited on by a girl who literally had guns tattooed on her biceps.  I thought that was pretty fantastic, although my own personal guns aren’t big enough to warrant such a display.  Maybe they would be if I spent more time working out than I do eating and drinking…but where would the fun be in that?  Exactly.

After a delicious brunch Saturday morning, a manfriend was nice enough to take me grocery shopping and spared me a miserable bus ride in the rain with pounds of food.  Since it was so stormy, I watched a movie on my couch and then took a semi-ridiculously long nap (for future reference, American Psycho is not the best film to watch before trying to take a relaxing nap).  After the nap, it was time to head downtown to meet up with some ladies, as a gal pal of mine was having a birthday.  We met up for Mexican food and margaritas and we sat at the smallest table known to humans.  One margarita was lost to the floor in the hubbub, but I guess it could’ve been worse.  After dinner, we wandered around in search of a bar.  While we were looking, we encountered something that pretty much made our night: a Naked Bike Ride.

Apparently this is an event that takes place all over the world and we happened to be lucky enough to encounter it on the streets of Chicago.  Men and women of all shapes and sizes proudly rode their bikes nude down Michigan Avenue.  Some of them had on little undies and a few wore pasties, but a surprising majority were clad only in their birthday suit.  I took a few pictures but they didn’t turn out that great, and to be honest I was trying to watch and didn’t want to be fooling around with my camera the whole time.  I think this picture is appropriate because all you can really see is a blur of flesh (I promise, there are actually naked people in this photo).  Cab drivers up and down the street got a huge kick out of it, as did all of the other people standing on the side of the road watching.  We all clapped and cheered and couldn’t help but pointing out a few of the more…excited members of the race.  I think it made my friend’s birthday, too.

After dinner drinks were had all around and then it was time to go dancing.  However, I didn’t feel like dropping $20 on a cover charge at some club so I moseyed on home.  My bank account thanked me.

Sunday was yet another rainy day but I was determined to enjoy some of the free stuff happening downtown, so I trekked back there once again.  I first hit up the Printers Row Lit Fest, which had tons of booths full of books, as far as the eye could see.  I was in heaven.  I was also glad I went by myself, because I didn’t have to worry about anyone getting bored or trying to hurry me along.  I’m proud of myself for not going book crazy and I actually walked away with just one purchase – a novel about an Egyptologist in the 1920’s.  It’s next up on my to-read list and I can’t wait.

It started to pour while I was at the book fair and I thought about heading home, but by the time I got to the train station the rain had let up so I figured I’d venture on to the Chicago Blues Fest in Grant Park.  The free festival featured at least four stages of music and tons of food and beer, and the rain wasn’t stopping anyone from having a good time.  I’m including another semi-crappy picture, but hey, it’s better than nothing at all.  You can see how foggy it was all around, which was actually kind of nice because the weather wasn’t hot or humid, just a little damp.  I’ll take it.

The Blues Fest was pretty cool and I spent a few hours just wandering around and listening to music.  I also grabbed a bit of food and was going to get a beer until I realized I’d be paying the ticket equivalent of about $6 for a shitty Bud Light.  Instead, I visited the OceanSpray juice booth a few times and helped myself to their free samples.

I am, after all, the Queen of Frugal.

One thing I noticed at the Blues Fest was the wide variety of people in attendance.  There were parents there with their kids, groups of hippie looking high schoolers who were clearly in need of a shower (and this is coming from my hippie-loving soul), frat guys and their bored looking girlfriends, older people there looking to rock out and just about every type of person in between.  I also noticed the difference in footwear.  Most people were donning sneakers or sandals but quite a few were sans shoes altogether and employing the barefoot look.  Honestly, that kind of grossed me out – as hippie as I can be, you’ll never see me wandering the streets of downtown Chicago without footwear.  At one point, I noticed a barefoot kid dancing right next to this guy wearing some crazy boots – I tried to take a picture but the boots were made for walkin’ and it was hard to keep up.  This is what I got:

And I’m more than a little bummed that this picture didn’t really turn out.  Since you probably can’t tell, those are snake skin boots.  They featured actual snake heads on the tip of each shoe.  The picture would’ve been even better if this guy had stood still and let me photograph him while he was standing next to the barefoot hippie, but I gave up trying to control other people many moons ago.  Clearly, though, people from all walks of life were at this festival.

Even with the rain, I think my weekend was a success.  And since I have a year until the next Naked Bike Ride, perhaps I’ll overcome my fear of riding in the city and try to join in?  Considering the recent dream I had where the brakes on my bike went out mid-ride, that might not be the best idea.  As one of the girls I was with Saturday mentioned, can you imagine wrecking on pavement while not wearing clothing?  Right.  Maybe being a spectator is wild enough for me.

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